A lot of development dollars have undoubtedly been wasted on this remake of an adaptation of a short story reportedly loathed by its original author, but it’s the idea that counts, right? If so, I still don’t understand why James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Motherfucking Walter Mitty persists as a viable project for vain comedy stars desperate to discover their inner Danny Kaye (as if that’s something worth discovering; I’d go for Danny Thomas, ‘cuz at least he a) grew up in Toledo, Ohio, and b) had a poo fetish). Jim Carrey circled the redo for years, doing his best to entice the A-list likes of Steven Spielberg (Mitty does imagine himself as a RAF pilot) or Opie Cunningham (it’d make him another pile of cash to keep his other piles of cash company) to direct, but he ultimately failed for a variety of reasons. The project popped up again in 2005 as a vehicle for Owen Wilson and director Mark "Brother of Daniel" Waters, but that proposed incarnation mercifully went the way of Julia Ormond.
Why Mike Myers, a legitimate superstar no matter how infrequently he works, would want to take the sloppy thirds of Carrey and Wilson seems inexplicable until you realize that he’s in dire need of an exit strategy from See Me, Feel Me: Keith Moon Naked for Your Pleasure. Myers will be forty-four this Friday, which means he will officially be twelve years older than the antic drummer of The Who when he died. I have all the respect in the world for Myers’s comedic chops (even if he’s far too comfortable with repetition), but he’s about to reach an age where he’ll no longer be able to pull off a dissipated twenty-eight. So, rather than resurrect the Austin Powers franchise for an unasked for fourth installment, Myers can now beg off of See Me, Feel Me for Mitty once he’s done with The Love Guru (where he’ll play a self-help character with a funny accent; dismiss it all you want, but this kind of shit is why we loved Peter Sellers as kids).
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has migrated from Paramount to 20th Century Fox, and will be rewritten for the umpteenth time by veteran comedy writer Jay Kogen. Somewhere, Donald Marguilies is bitching over a soon-to-be-blown studio paycheck.